Friday, November 21, 2014

Beer Review: Vanglorious

Reviewing the Vanglorious from the Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago, Illinois. This glorious Clyborn brewpub creation is their Vanitas (a Belgian-style stout aged in a mix of bourbon and red wine barrels) blended with black raspberries and black cat espresso from intelligentsia.

Score: 97

Tap pour served in a 10 oz snifter and enjoyed on 09/18/14.

Appearance: Deep brown/black in color. Served with less than a half finger of khaki head with a visibly purplish/pink hue to it, which settles to a ring around the glass. Great lacing and retention. Clean in appearance. I am loving the purplish/pink hue to the otherwise traditional stout appearance -- it is really cool and unique. 5/5

Smell: The nose is a lovely mix of raspberry, roast, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and jammy fruit. Bold and well-integrated. This smells like a masterful blend of Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout and Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout  4.75/5

Taste: Tastes just like it smells -- a marvelous mix of coffee and chocolate and fruit and jammy raspberry with a light oak character. The barrel character is very subtle overall, and I certainly would not have been able to tell you this was aged in red wine barrels but for the waitress relaying that fact to me. Marvelous integration, with a nice lasting finish of roast and raspberry. While you might get committed to a mental asylum for shouting "raspberry" in response to "coffee" during a game of word association, these otherwise oddly paired flavors totally work here. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Unfortunately, the body on this beer lacks heft (though it is not "thin" bodied). Low carbonation. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Good balance between the slightly tangy fruit and the bitterness/roast. 3.5/5

Overall: I could drink this keg dry (and pretty much did). I wish that Goose Island had bottled this instead of Grim Vicar.

Cost: $6 for a 5 oz pour.

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